Penny stocks are one way to double your money, though it's fraught with risk, but there are equally shiny opportunities trading at the other end of the price spectrum, too. I call 'em "three-digit stocks," yet if they're anything like Berkshire Hathaway they can trade in the four-, five-, and six-digit range, too.

penny stock might not be a good buy simply because it's cheap, and a three-digit stock shouldn't scare you away just because it carries a hefty price tag. Handsome is as handsome does. Let's check in with the Motley Fool CAPS community to see which of the high-priced stocks below earn the greatest confidence from our investor-intelligence database:


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

3-Digit Price

Return on Capital, TTM

Apache (NYSE: APA)




AutoZone (NYSE: AZO)




Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN)




Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's; Motley Fool CAPS.

But just because these stocks are purring is no reason to jump into them blindly. Catching a tiger by the tail -- or a knife falling from on high -- can end up leaving you scratched and bleeding. That's why we recommend you use this list as a launch pad for your own research and analysis.

Highfalutin' honeys
With assets spanning five continents, oil and gas producer Apache has provided itself a cushion against disruption in any one particular area. No one region contributes more than 28% of its revenues, and none contained more than 26% of its proved reserves. Its proved natural gas assets edged out oil 56% to 44%, and Apache's gas fields off the coast of Australia hold the promise of widening the gap further.

Considering how close it is to the massive Gorgon field operated in the main by Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), Apache's Zola-1 site in the Carnarvon Basin is seen by analysts as giving the oil and gas specialist an advantage. The infrastructure is already in place, allowing Apache to reduce its cost in bringing the development to fruition.

Highly rated CAPS All-Star TSIF finds Apache's diversity helpful regardless of which way oil and gas prices go:

Overall, Apache has a very diversified global presence, expanded from acquistions it gained from BP and Mariner at reasonable prices. Global presence includes Australia, Chile, and the US. Margins have been exceptional and forward P/E continues to stay relatively low. Despite borrowing and issuing stock for acquisitions, Apache maintains good cash flow. IF oil/gas retreats, Apache remains a solid play. If they rise due to continued turmoil in the Middle East then Apache becomes a good arbitrage play.

Add your own opinion to the Apache CAPS page and tell us if you believe this is a gas company worth tapping into.

Sunday drivers
With new car sales about to swerve into the breakdown lane because of an absence of parts in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis, the investment thesis that helped prop up Pep BoysAdvance Auto Parts, and AutoZone during the recession is revving its engine again.

The recession saw car owners keep their cars longer rather than trade them in for new ones. And while the resurrection of the carmakers this year briefly put a dent in the aftermarket parts business, Pep Boys just reported that fourth-quarter sales increased more than 5%, and same store sales were up 4.3%. Advance saw an 8.9% jump in comps, while AutoZone's domestic comps were up 7.1% in its fiscal second quarter ended February.

The CAPS community, though, remains doubtful about the longer-term prospects for AutoZone, with only a little more than two-thirds of the nearly 500 members rating it to outperform the broad market averages.

You can add AutoZone to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to see if it can keep its business from running off the road.

Triple-digit titans
Gaming revenue in Macau continues to grow not only year over year, but sequentially as well. Total first-quarter revenues were up 43% from last year, but also up 6% from the fourth quarter. At the same time, Las Vegas gaming revenue has shown serious weakness.

Casino operators Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) stand to benefit from the dichotomy more so than MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), since the former have far more assets in China's gambling oasis, while the latter is tied to the desert casino mecca.

A lot of investors like CAPS members smartpinkmoney and srv201 were hoping that Wynn's decision to partner with online poker house PokerStars would lead to an additional revenue stream, particularly if online gambling was legalized in the U.S. again. But the FBI dashed those hopes when it indicted PokerStars and two other online sites for bank fraud and illegal gambling. Wynn subsequently severed its ties to PokerStars, so until Congress relegalizes online gambling Wynn, Sands, and other casino operators will have to rely upon bricks-and-mortar gambling for growth.

If you don't want to gamble real-life money on the casino right away, add Wynn to your watchlist, and double down by adding your thoughts to the Wynn Resorts CAPS page.

Count to 10
These three-digit stocks might be on their way to even higher valuations. That's why it pays to start your own research in Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page.